This week, President Obama pardoned a turkey.
This isn’t an Obama thing. U.S. presidents of both ilks have run the same lame publicity stunt for years.
How many years? Some say the tradition started during the Kennedy administration. The Kennedy administration was a long time ago. Most people were what I like to call “not born yet” when JFK first used the power of his office to pardon a turkey.
And yet, year after year, the press returns to cover whichever president is in office issuing another pardon to another turkey. Lame? Yes, I believe that this defines lame.
Of course, I’m writing about this two days after Thanksgiving, so perhaps my opinion isn’t all that worthy.
But it is a lame tradition. Canada celebrates a Thanksgiving holiday. As far as I know, there are no pardons issued before the Canadian Thanksgiving. Why? Because Canada is cool. There, I said it. Canada is a very cool place, with cool, funny people.
The other reason Canada doesn’t issue a pardon to food is because it’s just silly to pardon a plate of poutine.
Perhaps you’ve noticed that sometimes there are two turkeys present at the pardon “ceremony”. That is a nod to President Gerald R. Ford.
Mr. Ford took office in August, 1974 and immediately pardoned his corrupt predecessor, Richard Nixon. When Thanksgiving came around, Mr. Ford issued the traditional pardon to a turkey. Thus, Gerald Ford was the first to pardon two turkeys in one year.
And what does this pardon get the turkey? Well, for one thing, the turkey gets away with whatever he’s done. That could mean just about anything. Turkeys are disgusting, twisted, sociopathic birds who are capable of unspeakable acts of cruelty and debauchery. It also means that the turkey lives longer.
Do you know what the lifespan of the sort of turkey bred for consumption is? Eighteen weeks.
Given that the turkey(s) who apply to have their criminal pasts expunged and their lives extended are presumably of age to be consumed, it is likely that they don’t live much longer. Now, if you asked me if I’d like my life extended by 1/18th of its span, I’d say yes, please. An eighteenth of my life would be a substantial amount of time. An eighteenth of a turkey’s life is a week.
A week. That’s not even enough time for the turkey to find out who the next person kicked off The Biggest Loser TV show will be.
Yes, once again, a politician has taken time out of our lives. We’ll never get that part of our lives back; we won’t even see 1/18th of that time again.
Yet, next year, the big news this week will be that some bird will walk away as a free man.’ And that won’t be news to me.
P.S. There was something about the US flying the B-52s over an area China claimed as a restricted airspace. The Pentagon released a statement that said China was trying to “live in it’s own private Idaho. China was all, like, “whatever, dude, whatever”.